The best-known use of nuclear technology is to generate electrical energy. Around the world, decades of innovations have refined not only the designs of nuclear reactors, but also the whole nuclear fuel cycle, including uranium mining, processing, and storage of spent fuel.
Food irradiation is a safe and effective technology that can prevent a variety of food-borne diseases. Irradiation is also responsible for many crop improvements, such as increased yield and hardiness.
The vast majority of nuclear applications are for industrial processes: the ability of radiation to pass through many natural and manufactured solids makes nuclear-enabled tools ideal for checking product quality and performing routine measurements.
Over the past 100 years, nuclear technologies have taken on a central role in medical diagnosis and therapy, thanks to many advances pioneered at Canadian research reactors. Nuclear techniques have allowed for the precise detection and treatment of diseases such as cancer.
The roles of nuclear technology in power, medicine, and industry are widely known, but it also touches the lives of people in unexpected ways – from inside the home to outside the atmosphere.
Canada is a world leader in nuclear research and development, with a network of institutions and experts dedicated to advancing the peaceful nuclear capabilities of the country. Current Canadian research initiatives include improving CANDU reactor designs, efforts to harness nuclear fusion, and various other scientific applications of nuclear technology.